OCB Science Highlights

OCB Science Highlights

If you would like to have your recent publications featured on the OCB website and eNewsletter please contact ocb_news@whoi.edu. View our guidelines for writing a OCB Science Highlight.

Using BGC-Argo to obtain depth-resolved net primary production

July 23, 2021

Net primary production (NPP)—the organic carbon produced by the phytoplankton minus the organic carbon respired by phytoplankton themselves—serves as a major energy source of the marine ecosystem. Traditional methods for measuring NPP rely on ship-based discrete sampling and bottle incubations (e.g., 14C incubation), which introduce potential artifacts and limit the spatial and temporal data coverage […]

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Will temperate kelp forests persist?

July 12, 2021

Giant kelp is a highly productive foundation species that forms dense forests on temperate reefs around the world. These ecosystems have remarkably high rates of carbon fixation—giant kelp can grow half a meter a day—and the physical structure formed by kelp’s tall fronds profoundly alters the benthic habitat. However, giant kelp is regularly ripped out […]

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Hydrogeology modulates carbon outwelling from tidal wetlands

July 12, 2021

Tidal wetlands are highly productive ecosystems that have the potential to sequester and bury vast quantities of atmospheric carbon dioxide, making them effective blue carbon habitats. There is emerging evidence that lateral export of dissolved carbon (outwelling) can greatly exceed carbon burial in blue carbon habitats. However, little is known about the spatial and temporal […]

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Is seaweed farming an effective method to reduce atmospheric CO2?

June 15, 2021

The world is in need of effective methods to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and the ocean could potentially help us to meet this objective. One idea, explored since the 1980s, is to grow seaweeds on platforms in the open ocean to fix carbon and sequester it at great depth (ocean afforestation). But would that […]

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Regional scale production shifts drive global ocean production stoichiometry

May 20, 2021

The C:N:P stoichiometry of global ocean biological production is the gear by which marine biology turns the wheels of the global ocean carbon cycle. From the days of Alfred Redfield until fairly recently, this stoichiometry was assumed a constant in ocean biogeochemistry (e.g., the Redfield ratio). Traditional stoichiometry would predict a carbon export production decline […]

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Who’s eating whom in the planktonic food web of the Northeast Shelf?

May 5, 2021

It is critical to quantify the amount of phytoplankton that microzooplankton consume to better understand the flow of carbon toward higher trophic levels in the ocean. The Northeast US Shelf (NES) sustains intense fisheries with huge economical importance, but the links between the planktonic food web and the fish stocks are poorly constrained. A recent […]

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Taxonomic and nutrient controls on phytoplankton iron quotas in the ocean

April 22, 2021

The uptake of iron by phytoplankton is a key part of the marine iron cycle, but we still have a rudimentary understanding of the controls on this process. It is generally assumed that dissolved iron availability controls phytoplankton iron. Combining data from the GP16 GEOTRACES section and three other GEOTRACES-compliant cruises in the eastern Pacific, […]

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Acidity across the interface from the ocean surface to sea spray aerosol

March 31, 2021

The pH of aerosols controls their impact on climate and human health. Sea spray aerosols are one of the largest sources of aerosols globally by mass, yet it has been challenging to measure the pH of fresh sea spray aerosols in the past. A recent study published in PNAS measured sea spray aerosols under controlled […]

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Air-sea gas disequilibrium drove deoxygenation of the deep ice-age ocean

March 18, 2021

During the Last Glacial Maximum (~20,000 years ago, LGM) sediment data show that the deep ocean had lower dissolved oxygen (O2) concentrations than the preindustrial ocean, despite cooler temperatures of this period increasing O2 solubility in sea water. In a study published in Nature Geoscience, the authors provide one of the first explanations for glacial […]

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Extreme events are accelerating coastal carbon cycling

March 1, 2021

The world is getting stormier, and recent evidence shows significant impacts on coastal carbon cycling. The upticks in extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones have resulted in enhanced delivery of nutrients and organic matter across the land-ocean continuum. Lagoonal estuaries such as the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound (APS) in North Carolina and Galveston Bay in Texas […]

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